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San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz Counties, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Brian Holtz

Candidate for
United States Representative; District 14

This information is provided by the candidate

The EcoLibertarian Manifesto

Your body, time, and property are fully yours, but you must pay when you monopolize, consume, pollute, or congest the commons. Thus our communities should

  • Protect individuals from each other, not from their own informed choices;
  • Outlaw only force initiation and fraud;
  • Tax only monopolizing, consuming, polluting, or congesting the commons;
  • Provide only network natural monopolies and protection of life, liberty, and property.


  • Aggress Not. Peaceful honest adults have the right and responsibility to control their own bodies, actions, property, and use of the commons, so long as they use neither force nor fraud to interfere with the same rights of others.
  • Contract. Peaceful honest adults are free to consent to, or decline to consent to, any voluntary association or contract with any other informed consenting adults, unless or until they violate the rights of others.
  • Property. The owners of material property have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy their property without interference, unless or until they violate the rights of others.
  • Expression. Every person has the right of free expression, without any regulation of how media or technology are used for expression, or are withheld by their owners from such use.
  • Risk-Taking. Adults have the freedom and responsibility to decide what media and substances they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and to expose themselves (but not others) to any risk to their own health, finances, safety, or life.
  • Sexuality. Consenting adults are free to engage in any amorous or reproductive behavior or relationship, unless or until they violate the rights of others.
  • Self-Defense. Every person has the right to defend himself against aggression, and to aid others or seek their aid for such defense, so long as they use no greater force than necessary to prevent or minimize the harm caused by the aggression.
  • Equal Liberty. The rights of individuals should not be denied or abridged based on sex, wealth, ethnicity, nationality, language, beliefs, or sexual orientation.
  • Due Process. Those accused of aggression have the right to 1) be presumed innocent, 2) be free from arbitrary searches and incarceration, 3) know and understand the charges against them, 4) have assistance of counsel, 5) examine incriminating evidence and confront incriminating witnesses, 6) subpoena exculpatory witnesses, 7) abstain from self-incrimination, 8) be present at a fair speedy public trial by an impartial jury in an impartial court, 9) be free from ex post facto charges and double jeopardy, and 10) be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
  • Emancipation. Parents or guardians have the right to raise their children as they see fit unless they abuse, neglect, or recklessly endanger their children, who in turn have the right to petition a court to establish their maturity and become emancipated, with all the rights of an adult.


  • The Worth of the Earth. The most effective and moral way to protect the Earth is by legally recognizing the environment's economic value to each member of the community.
  • Species and Ecosystems. Verifiable endangerment of a species or ecosystem that is part of the commons of a community is aggression against any non-consenting member of that community.
  • Other Beings. Persons must refrain from inflicting intentional cruelty on sensate beings, and respect their freedom in proportion to the cognitive capacity of their kind.
  • Natural Resources. Natural resources are everything except persons and the wealth that they have produced, and thus include underground minerals, metals, and oil; wildlife, including forests; the genetic variety of life; oceans, lakes, and streams; the atmosphere, wind, precipitation, and sunlight; the electromagnetic spectrum; orbits; and the surface area of the Earth.
  • Resource Severance. Extraction of natural resources from a community commons should require a fee to the community proportional to the decrease in that commons' ability to sustainably support such extraction.
  • Green Pricing. Market prices should include the measurable costs that products and actions demonstrably and physically (not psychologically or sociologically) impose on non-consenting third parties.


  • Land is Unique. A spatial natural resource like land (and spectrum and orbits) is a fixed pre-existing supply that cannot be augmented, hidden, or removed through human effort, and so does not support the same moral claim for outright title (as opposed to mere possession) as property that is created by applying effort to natural resources or other property.
  • Land Rent Sources. The rental value of land derives from 1) the inherent natural productivity of land, combined with the fact that land is limited; 2) the growth of communities; and 3) the provision of public services.
  • Geo-Rent. Geo-rent is the excess production obtained by using a site in its most productive use, compared to the production obtained by applying equivalent inputs of labor and capital at the most productive site where the application doesn't require (additional) payments for use of the site.
  • Nature's Dividend. Each member of a community has an equal claim on the component of land value that derives from its natural productivity.
  • No Deadweight Loss. Because the supply of land is inelastic, the sharing of geo-rent causes no deadweight loss of economic efficiency, in contrast to taxes on income (wages, interest, dividends, profits, gifts, and inheritance), production (including value added), transactions (e.g. the sale, import, or export of goods and services), and wealth (e.g. real estate improvements, capital, or other assets).
  • Land Holding. Persons may exert peaceful honest first control of unowned land and thus acquire the transferable right to possess it indefinitely if they leave "as much and as good" for others, or as long as it geo-rent is shared with those persons whom they exclude from it.
  • Landholder Rights. People should be free from eminent domain and bureaucratic zoning restrictions, and should be free to use their land (e.g. for sustainable local mixed use) subject only to the common law against nuisance to their neighbors and community.
  • Free Farming. Farming should be free of 1) subsidies, 2) protection from competition, 3) production restrictions motivated by concerns over price or vice, and 4) practices that impose a nuisance on neighbors or the community.
  • Return. When an individual (or his heir) can show that a particular piece of property was unjustly taken from him, he has a right to (his share of) it being returned to him, provided he compensate any innocent possessor(s) of it for any abandoned improvements to it, with such innocent possessor(s) in turn having a claim against the individual(s) who earlier acquired the property through that original unjust taking or by negligently ignoring that injustice.


  • Community Goods. The component of land value that arises from community growth and provision of services is the least objectionable source of revenue for financing community goods that raise the rental value of surrounding land, such as networks of roads, rails, pipes, and wires.
  • Bureaucracy Not Exempt. Community agencies and officials should not be exempt from the rules about land and other natural resources.
  • Decentralism. Because centralization of power leads to undue influence and successful rent-seeking by special interests, community services should be financed and managed at the most local possible level and in the most voluntary possible way, so that community members can have maximum influence on, and maximum choice among, the bundles of services that communities provide.
  • Centripetal Finance. Revenue to finance services enjoyed in a community should flow up from the individuals and sub-communities benefiting from the service, not down from a central bureaucracy with the dangerous power to tax all communities and shift revenues among communities or constituencies.
  • Congestion Pricing. Communities that provide congestible goods (e.g. roads, transit networks, sewers, air and water ports) should when feasible use congestion pricing for them, or else require impact fees when consenting to new or increased access to the goods.
  • Open Networks. Physical utility networks provided by the community should be as open and neutral as is feasible to diverse service and content suppliers, such as green electricity sources, alternative transit cooperatives, local broadcasters, and competing telecommunication service providers.
  • Free Trade. Commerce across borders should be without constraints, except for green pricing of the environmental externalities imposed across those borders by the traded products.
  • Secession. A community may secede from a surrounding community if 1) secession is supported by a majority within the seceding community, 2) the majority does not violate any rights of any minority, 3) the rules of the seceding community are at least as compatible with human freedom as that from which it seceded, and 4) the seceding community agrees to compensate its parent for any continuing impact on the parent's resources or use of the parent's services.
  • Revolution. Community government derives its just powers only from the consent of the governed, so that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to agree to such new governance as to them shall seem most likely to protect their liberty.
  • Immigration. Migration across borders should be without constraints, provided that migrants do not trespass and are sponsored by someone (perhaps themselves) who can afford to assume the same responsibility for their resource impact and congestion impact and subsistence needs as parents do for native children.
  • Peace and Defense. Communities should defend themselves and the individual rights of those residing in them, but no community should initiate force against another.


  • When Personhood Begins. Communities may choose the point, between the first trimester and birth, at which a healthy fetus starts acquiring rights and must if feasible be left unharmed by a termination of pregnancy.
  • When Minority Ends. Communities may choose the age, between 14 and 18 years, at which a person is no longer rebuttably presumed to be a child, and instead is rebuttably presumed to be an adult.
  • When Personhood Ends. Communities may determine the standards and process by which a person is declared to have permanently lost all cognitive attributes of personhood and is thus dead.
  • Patents. Communities may recognize intellectual property in an invention for as long as it could reasonably be expected before someone independently invented it, or until someone does independently invent it, or for as long as the ordinary product lifecycle in the relevant industry, whichever is shorter.
  • Copyright. Communities may recognize intellectual property in expression to prevent unauthorized reproduction in cases of a) competition that diverts commercial benefit from the owner to the competitor, b) attributed use with unattributed defamatory modification, or c) unattributed use that misleads about who the owner is.
  • Blackmail. Communities may decide whether the truth of some information is a valid defense against charges of blackmail for threatening to reveal it.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 25, 2008 13:02
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